Establish your wedding budget before you start planning
As soon as you have a ring on it, the natural temptation is to fall head first down the rabbit hole of wedding blogs, magazines, Pinterest pages and Instagram accounts to start planning your dream wedding. But hold it right there – before you even think about what kind of wedding you want, what venue you want to have the reception in, or what style of dress you want to wear, the first thing to do is figure out how much money you have to spend.
Yes, we know, planning a budget is unromantic and boring, but it’s one of the most essential parts of your wedding planning journey. Knowing how much you have to spend before you even start fantasising about different themes, venues, destinations and cars will give you a much clearer idea of the path ahead and more importantly, will help you avoid disappointment down the track. There’s nothing more crushing than having your heart set on a $3,000 dress, only to later find out your budget only allows $1,000 for bridalwear.
There are plenty of budget planning apps available online or you can kick it old school with an Excel spreadsheet. Calculate how much money you’ll be able to save within your designated time frame, or how much time you’ll need to hit your financial goal. Include any contributions from family members – but make sure to confirm these first rather than just assuming your parents are prepared to hand over a certain amount of money.
Knowing your financial limits from the get-go will not only help you understand what’s realistic for you, it’ll also make the decision-making process so much easier and help you stay on track with your savings.
How much does the average wedding cost?
Going by the Wedded Wonderland survey mentioned above, here’s an idea of what the average Aussie couple spent on their wedding in 2018:
- Photography – $3,611
- Dress – $5,180
- Venue – $21,250
- Flowers and styling – $6,704
- Honeymoon – $8,547
- Makeup – $475
- Grooms suit – $1,834
- Cars and transport – $828
Of course, this varies dramatically for everyone and it’s really up to you how extravagant or how casual you want your wedding to be. With the cost of weddings sky rocketing, more couples are turning towards DIY weddings to cut costs or having winter weddings where vendors typically offer lower prices.
There are ways to make your budget stretch further, and even those on a shoestring can still pull of an unforgettable wedding without having to settle on a trip to the registry office. At Seacliff House, we’ve partnered up with a great list of local wedding vendors and suppliers who can help you create a beautiful, memorable wedding no matter your budget.
Planning ahead will save you money
One of the most valuable pieces of advice we hear from newlywed couples is that planning ahead is vital if you’re trying to do things to a certain budget. The more time you give yourself, the more time you’ll have to build up your savings. As a bonus, it also means you’ll have more time to source sales and discounts and plan some of your own DIY projects.
Time won’t just help with your budgeting – it’ll also save you so much pressure and panic, as you’ll avoid any last-minute stress and have plenty of time to make decisions you are 100 percent happy with.
Set up an account for your wedding fund
As soon as you start planning a wedding, open a new bank account dedicated purely to the wedding costs. This way you can track any expenses coming in and out and know exactly what each purchase is for, without accidentally diving in to your savings on an unforeseen shopping spree or big night out. Get you and your partner to contribute to the account on a regular basis and have certain savings goals in mind, which you can celebrate once achieved.
Planning a wedding can also be a great way to take advantage of certain money management hacks. For example, if you have a credit card linked to a rewards program or frequent flyer membership, pay for your wedding expenses on that card so you can benefit from the rewards these big-ticket items bring. To avoid falling into a debt trap, simply pay each credit purchase back immediately from your designated wedding saving account.